It's been roughly a month since Playground Games and Turn 10 started revealing the cars that'll be featured in Forza Horizon, and over the last few weeks there have been many awesome speed machines for us to ogle at.
Keeping with the trend, the fourth consecutive car reveal week looks set to be an absolute corker, with super saloons, poster pin-ups and lithe hot hatches from yesteryear all playing a starring role in this round-up
But that's all the pre-summary spoilers we'll be dishing out for now – to find out what the rest of this week's announcements were, you'll have to carry on reading. And we reckon the first car in the list will certainly grab your interest…
BMW M5 (F10)
When it comes to 'user-friendly' supercars, there are quite a few to choose from – you've got the various Porsche 911 variants, a range of Ferraris, the Audi R8 and so on. However, one 'left field' choice is this: the BMW M5.
Okay, so it isn't a supercar in the strictest of senses, but it's certainly got the speed of one – with a 4.4 twin-turbo V8 that develops over 550hp, 0-60 is dealt with in just over four seconds and, if the top speed wasn't limited to 155mph, it'd easily storm past 200 miles per hour.
Of course, being such a large car that's weighed down by all those executive car goodies that can't be accessed in the game, it might not be quite as fast as a Porsche or a Ferrari down a twisty road. That said, it should be one of the more affordable performance cars in Forza Horizon, so we reckon it'll most likely offer the best bangs for your bucks in the entire game.
Volkswagen Rabbit GTI
We now move on from the latest entry in one German speed machine family tree, to another piece of Tuetonic engineering from the previous century that kick-started an entirely new genre of performance car. Oh, and a vary famous three-letter moniker.
Whilst us in Europe knew it as the Golf GTI, our foreign friends across the pond were more familiar with it as the 'Rabbit GTI'. Silly name aside, it was almost identical to the Guigaro-designed car the motoring press fell in love with in Europe, so the Rabbit GTI was still an ace little piece of kit.
Our only gripe is that, being a Rabbit GTI, it only has 90bhp or so, which is 30 or so less than the EU-spec Golf GTI could muster, and you can't boost the power as there'll be no tuning in Forza Horizon. Still, the car only weighs 810kg and comes with skinny tyres, so it should be a right hoot in the bends with its lift-off oversteer and such.
Especially when the road's completely soaked!
Lamborghini Countach LP5000 QV
Every so often, a car comes along with a name that it simply doesn't deserve – the Honda Legend automatically springs to mind. However, when it comes to 'Countach' – a piece of Piedmontese slang that translates roughly into English as a rather racy expletive – this particular Lamborghini is more than worthy!
After all, this is a machine that graced every schoolboy's bedroom wall as a poster in the Seventies and Eighties, and some car enthusiasts claim the Countach is, to this day, the definitive supercar. And, to be honest, we can see why – with those bold looks, the noise and power of that V12 (a 5.2 block with 455bhp, if you were wondering) and iconic scissor doors, it's no wonder people can't take their eyes off it!
However, don't let the likes of Jeremy Clarkson lead you into believing it's a rubbish car to drive – sure, it's a chore when compared with a Gallardo, but former Lambo test driver Valentino Balboni described the LP5000 QV as the best of the Countach breed, and the folk at Evo Magazine (who rate cars purely on the way they drive) reckon it's one of the best driver's cars ever to emerge from Sant 'Agata.
So, 40 or so years after Gandini's exuberent masterpiece burst onto the scene, perhaps the Countach can still show the modern crop of supercars how to do things the 'proper way'…
Nissan Skyline 2000GT-R
The Nissan GT-R may be one of the most sophisticated and up-to-date performance cars of the moment, but the acronym it so proudly brandishes is actually quite an old one. Before the 'R35', the was the R34 Skyline GT-R, which can in turn trace its lineage all the way back to the Skyline 2000GT-R from the late Sixties.
This particular one not only comes in the shortened coupe bodystyle (which always bodes well for a car with sporting intentions), but it also packs the punch of a 2.0 straight-six with 160bhp and an awe-inspiring 10,000rpm redline.
Of course, it won't be as quick as the modern GT-R – in fact, we're certain it'll be one of the slower cars you'll see in Forza Horizon – but that doesn't mean it isn't worth paying attention to. After all, what's not to like about a rear-wheel drive coupe with a straight-six engine that revs to 10,000rpm!?
And if that doesn't tickle your fancy, remember that the 2000GT-R was one of the finest, purest and fastest performance cars of the era. As a tool for thrashing the nuts off down tight ribbons of tarmac, not even the monstrous modern GT-Rs can hold a candle to this lithe little JDM pocket rocket.
Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth
The Ford Sierra Cosworth – one of the most succesful and dominant touring cars of all time – is celebrating its 25th birthday this year, so it's rather fitting that the iconic road-going homologation car has found its way into the high speed realms of Forza Horizon.
But it's not just a convenient anniversary that makes the Sierra Cosworth a worthy entry into the highly anticipated Forza game. Not only does it feature one of the largest and most distinguishable rear spoilers ever to appear on a car – especially one that began life as a humble family saloon – but as this is the limited edition RS500, it packs one helluvah punch!
That 'punch' in question is courtesy of a turbocharged 2.0 inline-four with a meaty 224bhp on tap that was, as its name suggests, fettled by Cosworth. Which, when combined with the car's low weight, should give the 'Cossie' serious cross country pace.
Oh, and the competition-spec Cosworth was just as competitive as a rally car as it was a Group A track monster, so perhaps it'll be as effective on Horizon's dirt trails as it'll be as a tool to tackle the tarmac sections with…
BMW M3 (E92)
No one knew it for certain when the car was launched all the way back in 2008, but the E92 generation BMW M3 would end up becoming the last naturally aspirated M3 for the forseeable future, with the Bavarian-based company now 100% committed to turbocharging.
Which, in itself, is bad news for the 'purist drivers' of the world, but at least BMW pulled out all the stops to make the E92 M3 one of the best of the breed. Fettled and tweaked to nigh-on perfection by the folk at the 'M-Division', not only did the car feature one of the most composed and balanced chassis of any M3, but the 4.4 V8 was an absolute peach of an engine: great power (414bhp) and an insatiable appetite for revs.
And, as a result, rear tyres.
Still, you most likely won't have to worry about paying for new sets of rubber when you're indulging in some hooliganism in Forza Horizon, so all you need to do is find your favorite driving road in the game, and simply drift away and rev the nuts off that fabulous V8 to your heart's content!
Lamborghini Reventon Roadster
When Audi acquired Lamborghini, quite a few petrol heads around the world were convinced that Lambos might end up being 'tamed'; the raging bull neutered by the Teutonic 'Captain Sensibles'. This Reventon Roadster, though, is proof that Audi knows how to make a 'proper', 'old school style' Lamborghini – by making it as mad and as ludicrous to look at as possible.
It may have used the same engine and steel ladder-frame chassis from the Murcielago LP640 but the rest of the Reventon Roadster was as hi-tech and as modern as you'd expect from something that cost a cool £1,000,000 when new. The F-22 fighter jet-inspired bodywork is made entirely out of carbon fibre, whilst the interior is full to the brim with combat aircraft references.
Heck, there's even a mode that changes the display the LCD screen into a readout that resembles the altitude and thrust dials and guages on supersonic military aircraft.
Only twenty of these cars were ever made, so it's very unlikely that you'll ever get to see one in real life. So, with its inclusion in Forza Horizon, you'll now be able to get a glimpse of what those fortunate few must experience when they take their uber-exclusive Lambo out for a drive.
The Jaguar E-Type is one of the finest road cars ever made, but in the realms of the new Forza game, we can't help but think it'll be a bit outclassed (especially when compared with the Reventon…). Thankfully, it looks like someone's found the way to win races in an E-Type, albeit a highly modified one – simply use an Eagle Speedster.
Okay, so it isn't strictly an E-Type in the way Sir William Lyons intended, but it's the perfect compromise between the two – the basic shape is almost identical to the one Malcom Sayer honed to aesthetic and aerodynamic perfection on his drawing board, but under the skin are, amongst other things, stickier tyres, uprated brakes, new suspension components…oh, and 4.7 straight-six with 310bhp, lugging around a car that weighs in the region of 1,000kg.
So, yeah, it'll be fast, and we're certain it'll be an absolute joy to drive. In fact, us here at Team VVV go as far to say that there quite possibly won't be a cooler car in the game.
Infiniti IPL G Coupe
Even though the Infiniti G37 shares quite a bit of tech with the Nissan 370Z, some people aren't convinced that it's as sporty as it could have been. And, it seems Infiniti thought so too, as it's just launched this 'IPL' version.
With the acronym standing for 'Infiniti Performance Line', the IPL G Coupe features a few key changes over the standard G37. For instance, power has been increased by 18hp to 348hp, and is now deployed 400 revs higher than before at 7,400rpm. Which means that, if you want to use all of the power on tap, you really have to wring that rorty 3.7 V6 right to the red line – which, if you ask us, is a compromise we can live with.
And, being rear-wheel drive, all that power should bode well if you plan on spinning up the rears and engaging in some delightful drift antics on Forza Horizon's extensive Colorado road network.
Given the fact BMW's PR folk regularly rabbit on about their cars being the 'Ultimate Driving Machines', we're surprised that, in the German firm's 95 year long history, its only ever made one mid-engined road car: the BMW M1 from all the way back in the 1970s.
The result of an unlikely joint venture between BMW and Lamborghini that fell through at the last minute, leaving the Bavarians to pick up the pieces, the M1 didn't have a very succesful lifespan – it was more expensive than similarly fast Ferraris of the time, so only 456 were ever made.
Which is a shame, really, as the M1 not only had beautifully composed dynamics and a finely tuned chassis, but the 275hp 3.5 straight-six was good enough to be used again in the iconic M635i and first-gen M5. And, now it's in Forza Horizon, it can shine once more on the twisty canyon roads of Colorado.
Volkswagen Corrado VR6
It's very rare for Turn 10 and Playground Games at this stage to announce the ranking of cars with regards to in-game affordability (even though we can assume all the really fast stuff won't be available for you to buy as soon as you boot the game up for the first time), but we do now know that one of the starter cars will be this: the Volkswagen Corrado VR6.
Which is very good news indeed, as the VeeDub has all the potential to become the definitive Forza Horizon starter car. After all, it packs a punch of a 2.9 V6 with at least 178hp (the European version, which we reckon wasn't the one that's been included in the game, has 192hp), which is good enough for 0-60mph in 6.4 seconds and a top speed of 145mph. And, despite the mashup of Passat and Golf Mk 2 parts fore and aft, it was phenomenally good in the corners.
Of course, we'll have to wait until at least when the finished game goes on sale for us to find out exactly what sort of cars will be available to purchase when you start your in-game career, but we'll be very surprised if there's anything that can match or beat the calibre of this cult classic VW performance coupe.
Hennessey Venom GT
If we're honest, we're quite surprised that this 'Lotus Exige Gone Mad' has been announced in this week's reveal process by Turn 10 and Playground Games, as we've known for quite some time now that it'll be featured in Forza Horizon. That said, at least it gives us an excuse to ramble on about the car's ludicrous performance statistics.
When a performance car weighs 1,200kg, you can assume it'll be quick. Any car with 1,200bhp will almost certainly be mightily fast. Couple the two together as the Venom does, and it's of no surprise that this twin-turbo V8 monster has quite a turn of speed: how does 0-60mph in 2.5 seconds, 0-200mph in 15.3 seconds and a claimed top speed of 272mph sound to you?
Of course, being a car of this calibre and with rear-wheel drive, you'll have to be very careful with the throttle if you're a player who'll jump straight into the Hennessey with all the assists off, and with Forza Horizon being predominantly set on 'public roads' with traffic and such, we doubt you'll be able to use all of the car's performance.
That said, if you can master car control in a Hennessey Venom GT without any safety nets preventing you from crashing, it's safe to say you're pretty handy as a console sim racer!
Mercedes-Benz 300SL 'Gullwing'
The term 'supercar' may have beein coined by the very great – and very dead – British auto journalist LJK Setright in his review of the Lamborghini Miura, but quite a few motoring experts reckon Lambo didn't pioneer this breed of performance car. Instead, some believe Mercedes-Benz kick-started the genre a decade earlier with the 300SL.
To be fair, it's quite easy to see why some people believe the 300SL was the world's first supercar. After all, depending on what the final drive ratio was set at, the car could crack 160mph (in the 1950s!) and its 3.0 straight-six pioneered direct injection in a road car. Oh, and it was comfortably the most expensive car in the world when it went on sale in 1954.
But the final piece in the puzzle is the car's looks. Or, more specifically, the doors – though purely a solution to the large sills rendering conventional openings impractical, hinging the 'Gullwings' as they were unofficially known as on the roof gave the 300SL the most famous frontal silhouette in all of motoring.
Yes, it won't be the fastest car in the game (the aforementioned Hennessey would devour the Mercedes on any stretch of road you'd care to think of) and, if the 300SL's been modelled correctly, the brakes may be a bit "inadequate", but who cares when the car in question is as cool as this?
Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
When a modern road car laps the fabled Nurburgring Nordschleife with a time of 7 minutes and 26 seconds, you'd assume the machine in question had independent suspension and originated from Europe, and not something from the US of A that's equipped with leaf springs. However, that's exactly what happened with the monstrous Corvette ZR1.
Yes, it's not as technologically sophisticated as the Ferraris, Porsches and even Nissans that it competes with, but don't let that give you ammo to slag off the Chevy with. After all, when any car comes with a supercharged 6.2 V8 that generates 640bhp, magnetically-operated shock absorbers, carbon-fibre body panels and brake rotors from the Ferrari Enzo, it certainly gives you a reason to stand up and pay attention to it!.
Of course, the car has generated a wee bit of a reputation of being quite an unruly device when compared with its far tamer rivals, but that's because this is a car that demands respect – it's got 640hp going through the rear wheels, for crying out loud! And, if you can tame the pure Motown fury this car possesses, we're certain you'll love it to bits.
Until you get over-confident with your abilities, push it a bit too hard, spin out and crash in a very spectacular fashion. Then you may get a bit frustrated with the hyper 'Vette.
Honda NSX-R GT
It's safe to assume that quite a few Forza fans were miffed with the fact that the Honda NSX-R GT was one of the 17 cars chosen by Turn 10 to become an uber-exclusive "Unicorn" in FM4 – after all, it is one of the rarest and most sought after Japanese supercars of all time, and there are a few players who want to collect every single car in the game.
And, whilst Playground Games and Turn 10 haven't confirmed or denied as of yet if there will be the equivalent of 'Unicorns' in Forza Horizon, we doubt they'll make the same "mistake" a second time around!
Especially as, being a car as secretive yet as desirable as the NSX-R GT – only five were ever made, and Honda has to this day never revealed all of the stats and figures for the firm's most exclusive mid-engined road car – it'd be fabulous if more gamers could experience a virtual copy of a car very few people will ever get the pleasure of seeing as a blur as it blasts down a motorway, let alone drive in real life!
So, there we go – the fourth week of the Horizon Car Reveal Round-Up sorted. Be sure to check back next week for our fifth installment, and let us know what you think of the cars that've been announced so far in the comments section, in our Forums or on our Facebook page.